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It was 1968 and a new Barber School had just opened up in the down town area. Haircuts at this time were a mere $2.50, but the barber school offered a 1dollar haircut fee for any haircut given. You of course were at the mercy of the student wanting to be a barber. Usually the students were advanced 2nd year or at least 1 year of experience before being released to the floor and the general public. Also they were under the watchful supervision of the Barbershop Manager who oversaw all students who were experienced enough to be allowed to cut hair.

During this phase of my life, I was awaiting my draft number to be called and was enrolled in college till my number came up. I had grown my hair out and had the barber school do an outline cut only. This meant that they would leave the bulk alone and cut an outline from sideburns over the ear, taper the side to back then block cut the back and razor cut it blunt at back and up to the ears, then over the other ear and sideburn. I would go weekly to keep an appropriate clean looking cut

There was a Catholic Girls High School about three buildings away from the Barber School and every school day, the girls would walk by and look in to see what was going on. I had just entered the shop and was waiting to be seated. I was in for the usual outline cut. I was sitting waiting when this young girl walked into the Barber School and sat down. One could not help but notice this young lady in her blue skirt and white blouse. She had red hair that was done in two pigtails that fell to her waist. Her face was freckled and she was very young and attractive.

As she sat and watched others being caped and cut, I was curious as to what was the reason for her being here. One of the student barbers said; “NEXT” as he stood by his chair. She looked at me and I said go ahead of me I am waiting on my barber who already has a customer. She nodded and smiled, a thank you came from her lips and she walked straight up to the barbers chair and sat down. The recruit barber to be was stunned, he never had a woman in his chair, yet a woman who had long hair to her waist. He was scared half to death as he went to cape her and asked; “Uhh Uhh ohh, mamm what type of haircut do you want, I mean you do want a haircut don’t you?” The cape was being placed around her neck, when three others girls, dressed the same came into the shop. All three were giggling, as young girls will do and then one yelled; ” Hey Barbara, are you really going to cut your hair?” The young lady in the chair being caped for her haircut was now known as Barbara who nodded back a yes. The young barber asked how Barbara wanted her haircut. Barbara pointed at me and said; “I would like it done like his hair is cut please.” The other three girls looked at me and in unison shrieked “OH GOD BARBARA, WEARE NOT BELIEVING YOUR GOING TO CUT YOUR HAIR LIKE THAT ARE YOU?” They all put down their schoolbooks on the floor under their chairs. I watched them with great curiosity. One girl was a blonde with a ponytail about bra length that was cut even across her back. The other was a brunette with hair hanging down to waist length in a thick plated braid. She was very distinguished looking with a set of bangs cut evenly at eyebrow level. The third young lady had thick black shinny hair that fell to her ribs, all one length that was evenly cut across the bottom as well. I watched as all three young girls stopped giggling and started talking amongst themselves, they were saying; OH SHIT, they all said, do you think she is really going to do it?” “If Barbara does cut her hair were next that’s the deal.” I thought about what was transpiring and decided would be worth staying around to watch. Three new barbers arrived and stood by there chairs and said; “NEXT’ you could have heard a pin drop as the three young ladies all looked at me. I said my barber is there and I am waiting on her to get done with that customer. All three looked at each other and Barbara said, “Well, Kay, Melissa and Cathy, I am cutting my hair and you remember the deal.” Each girl got up as each girl took a chair, each were seated, each were being caped up to have their hair cut as Barbara was about to get her hair cut. It seemed a pact had been made one cut all cut?

Barbara was asked if she wanted to keep her pigtails. Barbara said; “Yes if you would, please cut it off and save the tails for me.” The young barber got a pair of scissors out of the drawer then put them in his jacket pocket. He then adjusted each rubber band about an inch down on each tail, then he reached into his pocket and got out the scissors, he brought them up to Barbara’s left side pigtail. Barbara watched out of the corner of her eye, SCHIIINNNNKKKK, SCHINNNKKKK, SCHINKKKKK and the first tail was severed and handed to Barbara. The Blonde was now hysterical yelling; “Oh god, oh no, Barbara what are you doing.” She watched Barbara’s hair being severed and grabbed her ponytail and started stroking it saying; “It was suppose to be a joke, that is all it was suppose to be Barbara we were suppose to sit down and scare them all, you were not suppose to cut your hair Barbara.” Barbara said; “Kay shut up and tell them how you want it cut. Kay told her barber like Barbara’s cutting her hair, please cut mine the same way also.

The Brunette grabbed her braid and said: “Well braid I guess this is it for us.” Barbara said; “Yes Melissa this is it for long hair for all of us, we all agreed remember, I cut mine and you all cut your hair the same way.” Melissa looked at her barber and said; “Cut my hair like you heard please.” The third girl just looked at Barbara and could only say; “Oh God no, my parents are going to kill me.” Barbara said; “And for you Cathy all that beautiful black hair is going to be short, Oh God I cannot wait to see each of you cut your hair off, you do not know how much I am going to enjoy this cutting today.” I thought you cannot wait, how much you are going to enjoy watching them all each get a haircut today, God Barbara, what an event, not one haircut from long to short but four cuts all in a matter of 20 min.

Barbara’s other braid was held and the barber raised the scissors, Schhhiiinnnnkkkk, schhhiiinnnnkkkk, schinnnkkkk and the other tail of hair was severed. Kay’s barber just asked Kay if she wanted to save her ponytail and she said no. The barber got his clippers and started them up. Kay jumped as the clippers came to a roar near her ponytail. The barber said; “Are you ready Kay?” Kay nodded and the clippers were driven into the ponytail with a bbbrrruuuzzzzzzzzz. Hair was dropping all over as the blades severed the ponytail without any mercy. The tail was cut off and laid on the floor and Kay’s hair that was left fell to her shoulders. Two down I thought and two too go. Melissa with hair to her waist in a braid was asked how she wanted her haircut and she said; “I already told you to cut it like you heard or were you not listening?” The barber asked Melissa if she wanted to keep her braid and she said; `Yes, I would like to keep the braid.” The barber placed a rubber band in Melissa’s braid about an inch down from her crown. The barber then picked up a big pair of scissors and held Melissa’s long brunette hair aloft as he brought the scissors under the braid and opened the scissors wide. Scchhiinnkk, the scissors started to sever Melissa’s braid as Melissa yelled out can you hurry up please and she started to cry, schhhiiikk, schhiiinnnkk, Melissa cried more uncontrollably as her hair was now about half cut. schiiiiinkk, schhiiiinnk, schiinnnk and the braid was severed and handed to Melissa who started to wail really loudly. Barbara said; “Shut up Melissa you baby, it is only hair, god it will grow back.” Melissa said; “I Know, Barbara, but I have never in my life had a haircut till today.” Barbara said; “Oh, well join the group of short hairs Melissa, we will be starting a trend for all of those others to follow the seniors.”

Cathy had watched as each girl had her haircut. Now Cathy was the last one to comply, it was her turn for a haircut.
The barber knew what style to cut and asked; “Cathy do you want to save your hair?’ Cathy said; ” No, just cut it with those clippers. Cut it like Barbara has heir’s cut now, in the outline like the guy sitting there.” The barber brought the clippers with no attachment up to Cathy’s head on her right side and clicked the switch. Cathy sat very still as though in a trance, looking out of the corner of her eye as the clipper roared into her beautiful black hair severing her locks to the cape. Cathy said; “If Dad and Mom do not kill me.” The floor was filling up with long spires of black hair as the barber went over her ear and around to the back. Cathy jumped as the clippers cut her hair across her neck and she repeated herself, “Oh God, Mom and Dad are going to kill me.” The clippers were then coming over the left ear and down to the sideburns. Cathy did not move an inch during the whole cut, just kept saying; “Oh god thy are going to kill me when I get home tonight.” About this time my barber called “Next”. I got up and sat down in the chair. I kept watching as all the girls had their hair finished into a cut like mine. All four girls were walking out and paying for their haircut, as I was being caped. My what a day this has been said my barber as we watched the girls leave, she asked; ” The usual OC?” I looked at her and said; “No, I hate to look like someone else, how about a different cut. I said anything you think I would good in.” ” She asked if I had ever had it short before and I said; “Oh yes in High School I wore a crew cut.” She said; “Well how about a seal cut.” I said; “A what type of cut.” She said: “A Seal cut, it is cut at 5/8 in long after the seals in Alaska, not as short as a crew cut but shorter then what you got now. You would be loosing a lot of hair, but; you are driving a motorcycle, with a helmet law now in effect, summer is coming upon us, so what do you say about a seal cut?” I said; “Sounds like a cut I might like.” She smiled as she put the clipper guard on the clippers. She clicked them on, they came to life and she asked; “Ready.” I nodded; little did she know how I was going to enjoy this hair cutting. She brought the clippers to the top of my head and ran them right down the middle; hair was flying all over as the clippers reduced my hair to 5/8 in. Again and again she attacked the top of my head until it was clippered down to 5/8in. Then she started on the sides. Up the left side burn, over the ear, down the ear and four cuts up the back of the nape of the neck. Oh the warm feeling those clippers gave as they pressed against the neck each of the four times. Then around the right side and ear and sideburn and she was done. She said; “All done OC and boy does you look good with short hair, really better then long hair as she rubbed my hair, she said it feels so good. ” I tried it as she removed the caped I felt the short hair. It was a short cut but not stubbly feeling it was soft and longer and would do well for a helmet and the upcoming summer. I said “Yes it is cool feeling, I gave her a $5 bill and told her keep it, memories are made of things like today.”

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